Sleep Easy 2012

‘A cold Tuesday night in Grimsby’ was the old saying that used to get bandied around when the so-called ‘big boys’ of English football decided they didn’t fancy a midweek trip to the East Coast on a blustery winter’s night but for 95 hardy souls it will be a ‘a cold Friday night in Grimsby’ when they sleep rough at Blundell Park to raise funds and awareness for homeless young people in the Humber Region.

Organised by Grimsby Cleethorpes and Humber Region YMCA (GCHRYMCA), the Sleep Easy event is in its second year and this time around will also take in Hull and Scunthorpe where a further 136 fundraisers will be sleeping rough in the what has become the largest event of its kind in England.

For those of us based at the Mouth of the Humber, Blundell Park in Cleethorpes (home of Grimsby Town FC) will again be the venue for Sleep Easy. Last year over £15,000 was raised and we are hoping to top that this year with £25,000 in total from across the three venues.

Personally, I have been a fan of Grimsby Town for nearly 25 years, a former employee of the club but to sleep out there for a night is a completely different and wholly rewarding experience, especially when you consider the difference the fundraising makes to the lives of 100 young people in the region every night of the year. Last year I personally raised over £700 through Sleep Easy and I am hoping to top that this time around.

Mariners’ fans of all ages will know how exactly how cold it can get on the terraces.  You’ve no chance of getting warm in the middle of the day, never mind in the early hours of the morning. Hence why we will ensure there are plenty of warm layers of clothing, cardboard boxes and sleeping bags.

The event’s tag line of ‘sleep rough so others don’t have to’ has never been more apparent with newspaper reports of more homeless young people on the streets of Britain than ever before doing the rounds before Christmas.

GCHRYMCA offer supported accommodation to 100 of those young people every night and every penny raised through Sleep Easy goes to improving their way of life through improved facilities and subsidised training courses.

For the second year Grimsby Town FC have shown great support for Sleep Easy, from agreeing to host the event once more to advertising the cause on their website and in their matchday programme, as well as raising funds themselves by entering a team, the Mariners’ reputation of a community club comes to the fore with these efforts.

Local media have also been extremely responsive with slots on BBC Radio Humberside and Estuary Radio amongst others, as well as extensive coverage in the Grimsby Telegraph, Cleethorpes Chronicle and also in the Hull Daily Mail.

Funds are primarily raised online through Twitter and Facebook and it is still not too late to get involved. Entry details are available online at www.gcymca.com or you can donate at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/jonathanbyrne1.

If you cannot spare a monetary donation then we are always looking for things for our sleepers on the evening, such as food, drinks, cardboard and sleeping bags/duvets – please email info@gcymca.org.uk if you can help or call (01472) 693388.

Giving up one night to ‘Sleep Rough, So Others Don’t Have To’ is a small price to pay when the benefits of raising awareness of youth homelessness can be seen every day at GCHRYMCA.

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